Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Extinction Rebellion On UK Terror List

This is shockingly nonsensical but a regional arm of UK’s counter-terrorism police identified as “Counter Terrorism Policing South East” in the south-east of England had placed the non-violent environmental group Extinction Rebellion on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities running the Prevent programme, which aims to catch those at risk of committing atrocities. 

The climate emergency campaign group was included in a 12-page guide titled Safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism, which is marked as “official”. 

The said document was aimed at police officers, government organizations and teachers who by law have to report concerns about radicalization, was dated November 2019. 

It said that issues to look out for include people who speak in “strong or emotive terms about environmental issues like climate change, ecology, species extinction, fracking, airport expansion or pollution”. 

In the said guide, people are advised to listen and look out for young people who “neglect to attend school” or “participate in planned school walkouts” – an allusion to the school strikes for the climate, a global movement of which the activist Greta Thunberg (right) is a lead proponent. 

Thousands of UK pupils, and millions worldwide, walked out of school last year in protest at government inaction on the climate crisis. 

The document also flagged young people taking part in non-violent direct action, such as sit-down protests, banner drops or “writing environmentally themed graffiti”. 

The disclosure that Extinction Rebellion had been featured alongside threats to national security, e.g. National Action and Al-Muhajiroun, is likely to be deeply embarrassing for counter-terror chiefs. They have for years faced claims that Prevent can cross the line to muzzle legitimate free speech, thought and dissent. 

Anyway, according to a news report on Friday that I had come across, sanity has returned and it is now accepted that Extinction Rebellion are not extremist!

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